Falkirk Wheel visitors urged to clear up litter

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Visitors to a Falkirk tourist attraction are being urged to bag and bin their rubbish or take it home with them.

Scottish Canals has joined forced with Keep Scotland Beautiful to launch the anti-littering initiative at The Falkirk Wheel.

It follows complaints about the amount of rubbish being dropped on roadsides and in car park around the tourist attraction.

One of those concerned about the problem is Councillor Dennis Goldie after discovering bins overflowing with dog poo bags on a recent visit to the Wheel site.

He said: “I noticed the problem at the weekend when the bins for dog dirt were over flowing. There were bags all over the place. It was just appalling.

“At 10am on Saturday hundreds of tourists from all over the world who visit the attraction would have witnessed that.

“It is just a total disgrace to leave the area like that. Scottish Canals should be dealing with the problem. The bins should be checked every morning.”

But now visitors from home and abroad will be met with prominent posters and bins branded to remind them of the right thing to do with their litter.

Scottish Canals staff will monitor litter levels on site throughout the summer and hope to see a reduction as a result of this initiative.

So far, monitoring at a selection of car parks recorded 166 items of litter over two days, including 52 items of recyclable plastic. Over half of the litter observed came from people eating and drinking on the go. It is estimated that, on average, upwards of 50 littering offences take place each day at visitor car parks alone.

Dr Olivia Lassiere, Scottish Canals’ environment manager, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be working with Keep Scotland Beautiful once again to raise awareness of littering on our waterways and to encourage our visitors to dispose of their litter in the right way.

“Littering and fly tipping of waste unfortunately can be a problem on the Lowland Canals, particularly in urban areas. Already, in the first six months of the year, our staff and hundreds of volunteers have collected over a tonne (1300kg) of litter from The Forth & Clyde and Union canals.

“Not only is this litter unsightly, but it can also harm the wide array of wildlife that call our canals home.”

Georgina Massouraki, roadside litter campaign officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “It is a straightforward problem with a straightforward solution - if people do the right thing.

“’Give your litter a lift, take it home’ is about everyone being considerate and responsible when it comes to their litter. Littering anywhere is never acceptable.

“We need to learn that, even if there is no bin, we hold onto our litter until we find one - or take it home.”